One of the best things about June on my farm is mulberries. I have an ancient mulberry tree; I have picked its fruit since I was old enough to walk. But up until a few years ago, the joys of this tree were limited to the few short weeks where the goal was to stuff as many handfuls of the sweet purple berries into my mouth as possible every time I walked by the tree. A couple years ago I started eating the fruit every morning atop my granola and kefir. Serious yumm!
Mulberries are an odd fruit. They are so mildly flavored that they are overpowered in most dishes. They don’t make a particularly good jelly and I would despair having to pick enough of them to make 5 gallons of wine. I have a recipe for a nice mulberry and rhubarb pie, but the main role of the mulberry is to sweeten the rhubarb. One doesn’t bite into this pie and exclaim “Mulberries!”
A couple years ago I tried dehydrating them. After all, dehydrated strawberries and blueberries are good when ground into a coarse meal and added to cereal or ice cream. Not so with mulberries. They dehydrate into dried little balls of tastelessness. Even the chickens weren’t even sure what to do with them.
This year I’ve discovered the joy of fruit smoothies. A little yogurt, some whey or kefir, and a cup of mango or bananas make a flavorful lunch. Then it occurred to me to try mulberries. Oh. My. Goodness! Such a delight.
So now I am freezing about 7 cups of mulberries every evening (the only sensible time to pick in 99°F heat). I’ll be able to enjoy mulberries for many months of fall and winter. With no purple fingers!